Stiliyan 'Stan' Petrov turns 37 today, and everyone at HITC would like to wish the Bulgarian midfielder a very happy birthday.
Prior to his health scares Petrov had a very successful career. He won three trophies in three seasons at CSKA Sofia, before moving to Celtic, where he won 10 trophies in 7 seasons, scoring 65 goals in 312 games. His next move was to the Premier League and Aston Villa. Petrov played a slightly deeper role in England, but whilst his goal scoring prowess was lessened, his impact was not.
He won both Players’ Player of the Year and Supporters’ Player of the Year in 2009 and won the latter once more in 2012. It was in 2012 that Petrov was also diagnosed with acute leukaemia though, and despite continuing to captain the club for more than a year after his diagnosis, he was forced into retirement in May 2013.
Petrov, who also has 105 caps for his country, finally appears to have beaten his disease though, and is now back in full first team training, with the view to playing for Villa in the Championship next season. After a torrid season for the club last term, Petrov is sure to bring a much happier feel to Villa Park ahead of what promises to be an intriguing first season in the second tier since 1988.